Mariah Carey, known for her incredible vocal range and several high-profile relationships, has been in the spotlight for the past two decades. Now, in a cover story for People, she’s opening up about living with bipolar disorder.
The singer was first diagnosed in 2001 when she was hospitalized for a physical and mental breakdown, the magazine reported, but at first, she was in denial about the condition.
“I didn’t want to believe it,” Carey told People. “Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she says. “It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music.”
Carey is now getting the help she needs, taking medication for bipolar II disorder as well as attending therapy, the magazine reported.
“I’m actually taking medication that seems to be pretty good. It’s not making me feel too tired or sluggish or anything like that. Finding the proper balance is what is most important,” Carey told People.
Initially, she thought she had a sleep disorder, but knew it wasn’t a typical case of insomnia because she wasn’t lying awake at night. She was able to continue to keep up with her incredibly busy schedule, but said she “was irritable and in constant fear of letting people down.”
Carey then learned she was experiencing a form of mania.
“Eventually I would just hit a wall,” she said. “I guess my depressive episodes were characterized by having very low energy. I would feel so lonely and sad — even guilty that I wasn’t doing what I needed to be doing for my career.”
So why did she decide to come forward now, 17 years after her diagnosis?
“I’m just in a really good place right now, where I’m comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder,” Carey told People. “I’m hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone. It can be incredibly isolating. It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.”
She’s right — talking about mental health issues does help to normalize it and destigmatize the conditions for other people — especially when the person doing it is famous. We wish Carey all the best and are appreciative for her openness on this subject.